A teenager full of anger, pain and rage stared at the wall as I tried to help him feel "safe" so he would let me inside of his world.
He was in counseling because of his violent rages and desire to "kill people." He also had plans to soon end his own life.
I desperately wanted to help him. I saw his pain. I knew there were wounds and "seeds" that were driving the hate and rage. I knew that we could find them together and his pain could be healed.
But he held the keys to his own heart's prison. I needed to somehow find a way inside.
I began by telling him that I really believed he was a good "kid."
I told him I believed he had been hurt and those wounds were what was causing so many problems in his life. I told him I really believed we could stop the pain, without him "ending his life."
I explained the simple garden analogy and told him I believed "we all have gardens."
"In our gardens we all have weeds and flowers. The weeds represent the things in our lives that we do that cause pain and problems for our lives and others. The flowers represent those things in our lives that we do that cause happiness and joy in our lives and for others."
"In our gardens those weeds and flowers all started from tiny seeds that were planted when we believed something that was true or false about our lives. As we grew up, those seeds were watered, each time those beliefs were reinforced."
I explained to him those things he was doing in his life that he didn't like and caused so much pain were simply there because of something he was believing.
I asked him if he would let me "dig" for that seed so we could pull it up once and for all.
I also told him that I had "weeds" in my garden too!! Everyone has weeds!
I reminded him that I really believed he was a "good kid" and that his garden was beautiful. I also believed we could clean those weeds out and his garden could be restored to a happy, peaceful place.
Within seconds the boy faced me. His eyes told me he wanted out of his internal prison. His heart was willing to try.
I soon discovered this boy had been bullied his whole life.
He said he knew he had always been "different." Everyone seemed to have known that "but him."
Each time he tried to reach out and find a friend, he was laughed at and made fun of.
The "seeds" in his life were slowly growing into weeds, that soon began to spread like wildfire. To protect himself from the pain, he began to "bully" others.
It was much easier to "reject them" before they ever had a chance to reject him. "No!" He wouldn't have it. "He would destroy them before they ever had a chance to destroy him!"
He couldn't feel that pain again. It was like a "deep black hole" in the universe that tried to consume him.
Each time he would bully others, his self-confidence would grow. He felt an empowerment he had never felt before. The strength that was growing inside began to feed him, like a powerful drug.
He had also learned how to shut off his emotions. He became apathetic to weak people. Because of how "pathetic" he felt when he was bullied, he began to project those feelings onto those he bullied. They were also "weak" and "pathetic" in his mind. Their life wasn't valuable.
The anger was the only emotion he could "feel." Everything became numb except for the anger. The anger felt good, especially inside of a "numb world." The anger became a "high" that he longed for.
When we discovered the "seed" that was driving all of these feelings and problems, it was that he "wasn't loved." He had also believed he was "worthless."
I asked if he believed in "God." He said he didn't really believe in anything but he knew that "something" was out there."
I explained to him that I knew that "Something" that was out there and that it was powerful and loving. I asked if he would allow that "Something" to speak to him.
Within seconds, that boy heard "something." A tear rolled down his expressionless face.
He told me that he heard he "was loved" and that his life was "valuable."
He also heard that he "was different" and others just didn't understand it.
He was created "special" and would do great things with his life.
This young man discovered "something" that day that would forever change his life.
When "Something" spoke "truth" to him, that "sad seed" had to go.
A "happy seed" was quickly planted in it's spot and several weeds were destroyed that day.
Love never fails.
"Truth Sets Us Free"